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Orders to U.S. factories for durable goods jumped 3.9 percent in May, nearly wiping out the previous month's decline, the government reported today.

The Commerce Department said orders for durable goods -- big-ticket items expected to last at least three years -- totaled a seasonally adjusted $128.2 billion after falling 4.2 percent in April.

Orders have risen three of the last four months after plunging a record 10.5 percent in January.

Most of May's increase was in transportation equipment, up 9.9 percent to $35.3 billion. Nearly two-thirds of this advance was concentrated in automobiles, with most of the remainder in aircraft.

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